Wire Swiss GmbH is now owned by a USA holding company?

I was looking into Snowden tweets through one of my bots and he retweeted a thread warning about Wire.

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They now made a statement in a blog post:

It is therefore official: Wire is owned by a US holding company

Delivering this kind of growth … required external funding.
In connection with the financing, our holding company moved from Luxembourg to the U.S., as we believe this will be helpful in future fundraising necessary to support our strong growth.

Which sucks to be honest… Also, I agree with @LizMcIntyre, them only coming out after a long list of people asking, Ar.al, Sunde, Ed - it’s so avoidable :confounded: Why not be honest about it before?

But the rest of the blog clearly shows their current focus, and probably why this happened. They only seem to care about enterprises nowadays.

Our technology is now used by over 700 enterprise customers around the world.

If you have any questions, please contact Wire on press@wire.com

Whether or not I will stop using Wire is up for debate, but it seems clear to me that they do not care about individuals anymore… How long will it take until they shut down personal Wire since big daddy US investors feel they want to squeeze an extra 2% out of their profits?

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This sucks. Especially since IMO, Wire is the best IM/VoIP service (at the moment)

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So is Wire now subject to U.S. laws by virtue of U.S. ownership? The CLOUD Act would suggest so. This is just one reason it is SO important to know who or what owns a major share of a privacy company.

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This is certainly an argument that any US intelligence agency can now make while attempting to access information from Wire. Given the past history of secret court decisions this is not good.

Thanks to @All here for working together to unravel this mystery.

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So same as Signal, Keybase, DDG, Least Authority (PIA), Librem chat/Riot, Jami

Now all good services are either 5 eyes based, or lack some features (default e2ee, platform support…) or aren’t foss, or all of this :frowning:

The whole “5 eyes” thing is pretty useless these days, but it’s certainly important to know where you data is houses, but more importantly, it’s important to know what data they have and what they can turn over.

I know Signal has my phone #, I made that decision when I signed up, but I know they don’t have the same metadata that Wire has, for example.

With Wire now in the US, and partnered with Federal Agencies, I am more concerned with what information Wire can turn over than I am with what Signal can, etc. etc.

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You make an important point @danarel - knowledge is key so we can all make our own educated choices. This is why it is SO important to ask privacy services important questions and get forthcoming answers. When a company isn’t fully transparent, it should be a red flag and deal breaker.

I was pleased to see that Wire made a public statement quickly. Let’s hope they will answer follow-up questions that are sure to follow.

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Yeah, this is definitely the vibe I’m getting from them. They’ve gone out of their way to hide their free service on their website for quite some time now.

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More details:

“Wire was always for profit and planned to follow the typical venture backed route of raising rounds to accelerate growth,” one source familiar with the company told us. “However, it took time to find its niche (B2B, enterprise secure comms).

Brogger said there are still half a million individuals on the platform, and they will come up with ways to continue to serve them under the same privacy policies and with the same kind of service as the enterprise users. “We want to give them all the same features with no limits,” he added. “We are looking to switch it into a freemium model.”

Brogger said inbound interest has been strong and he expects the startup’s next round to close in the next two to three months.

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Here’s a challenge: find anything about personal use of Wire on their website now. I can’t.

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I fully support delisting from PrivacyTools.

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At least, this is still the case

Customers are licensed and serviced from Wire Switzerland; the software development team is in Berlin, Germany; and hosting remains in Europe.

But I don’t know what to use now. Signal lacks many features Wire has. Keybase also is not so great. Plus, both are US companies. Though at least Signal is more focused on private users and their privacy.

This really sucks :confused:

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My recommendation of Wire revoked.
https://securechatguide.org/centralizedapps.html#wire

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This was fast :slight_smile: But i don’t see the reason to revoke Wire recommendation, and keep Keebase (also VC funded, mainly for business users/slack alternative), Threema (closed source), WickerMe (US based, business use first, closed source), SafeSwiss (closed source, businesses focused company), BabelNet (business first, closed source), Brosix (business first, closed source), etc. And as I mentioned, even Signal isn’t so transparent

IMHO, the only truly privacy focused messenger is Briar. And it’s Android only. I would say Jami is also good. Though if I understand correctly, unless P2P traffic is routed over tor, your ISP will know who you communicate with, right?

I think I’ll switch to Threema for chat and calls, and probably use Nextcloud talk for video calls, if Wire makes some other changes. Or Jami or Jitsi. And I’m following Tungsten development. Though it’s not free any more, it’s 10€ in Playstore

Maybe it’s time to go back to real life :d Though I don’t intend to remove Wire as long as I (have to) use WhatsApp

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Yes those other apps do also have a business model, they have to make money somehow. But they are not neglecting or rejecting personal use of their product. Wire is actively expunging all mention of personal use from their website. That will mean no documentation or FAQs if personal users have questions.

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At the same time, they are upfront about this model. Wire went about this in a really shady way. Their behavior when called out, and then after is what ruined them for me.

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You’ve both got the point. Though as long as they keep service as it is (for personal use) it might be an alternative for privacy oriented users

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Hey @danarel Didn’t you just re-list Startpage? Will you be re-listing Wire, too?

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No. The Wire and Startpage instances are not apples to apples. How the companies handled their decisions, etc was much different and their goals are not the same either.